Irish traveller Paddy Doherty, who appeared on Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings talking about his bare knuckle fighting past, has told a court that his hardman act is all for the cameras.
Paddy, 51, was giving evidence at the trial of his cousin Johnny Joyce, who the TV star has accused of breaking his jaw in a brawl, when he was quizzed about his on-screen claims.
Whilst appearing on Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men two years ago, Paddy had declared he was “born to fight” and ate opponents “like a bar of chocolate.”
He was quoted as saying: “I’d bite your eyes and lips off and I won’t spit them out so you could sew them back on, I’d swallow them to disfigure you.”
But the former fighter told a jury at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester: “All that’s for the cameras, all that crap, it was just having a laugh.
“It’s all nonsense, it’s just for a joke. The crew sort of tells you what to say and you play along. Danny Dyer made me out to be a very different person than I was. It was just for the cameras, it’s not true.”
He confessed: “My fighting days were when I was 18 or 20. After that I was done with that. The dirty fighting went out years ago. Nobody does that anymore.
“On that show I was lying for the cameras, having a laugh and saying what they wanted. Here, I’ve kissed the bible and I’m telling the truth.”
Paddy claims that 20-year-old Joyce attacked him “out of nowhere” after a night out in Manchester’s gay village in August last year.
He told the court that he stood up to get his mobile phone when Joyce suddenly began punching him repeatedly, screaming: “You’re dead now you bastard!”
Paddy’s jaw was broken in several places and, following a stroke in surgery, he is now unable to clench his teeth.
He insisted he was now a “peace maker” who hadn’t fought for money since he was 20, and would never take on someone “32 years younger” anyway.
Joyce denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The trial continues.
Video: Paddy with Danny Dyer in Bravo’s Deadliest Men documentary